“Now David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, ‘Please bring the ephod here to me.’ And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.'”
(1 Samuel 30:6-8)
This is a remarkable example for us to follow when we feel as though the enemy of our soul will virtually destroy us before we see victory.
Under David’s leadership, the Israelites had been battling the Amalekites. The Amalekites were winning. They had burned the city of Ziklag and taken the Jewish wives and children captive. Even David’s two wives had been captured. David and his men lifted their voices and “wept until they had no more power to weep.” Can I get a witness?
Now, get this. David’s men wanted to STONE HIM!! Even his comrades had turned on him! And David was greatly distressed.
Have you ever felt like this? Have you felt like your world is falling apart? Have you felt like you had let everyone down – that you had nowhere or no one to turn to?
This is the place David had reached. But, though he was grieving to the point of exhaustion, his spirit won the battle.
I said, “His spirit won the battle!”
Dave CHOSE to strengthen (encourage) himself in the Lord. I can imagine that his flesh would have preferred a pity-party or bitterness like his comrades. But David CHOSE to pour out his heart to his God.
The Scripture says he asked the priest to bring the ephod to him. An ephod was an outer garment the priests wore when ministering to the Lord in the Tabernacle. It was beautiful, made of blue, purple and scarlet yarns, woven with golden threads. Memorial stones (gems) representing each of the tribes of Israel were placed upon the shoulders.
Wearing the ephod was a symbol of righteousness. Only the priests wore these. This garment was necessary to enter into the Holiness of God’s Presence in the Tabernacle. What is our righteous “garment”? The Blood of Jesus. Because of the Blood we can approach God’s throne of grace boldly, making our petitions known.
Did David pray, “Oh, Lord, please be with me” or some other sweet, generic plea?
No! He asked specific questions, “Shall I pursue this troop?” And God ANSWERED him! God answered David, giving him specific instructions to lead the Israelites into victory.
The take-away? When you’re up against a battle:
Encourage yourself in the Lord.
Approach His throne boldly.
Make your petitions known.
Listen for your answer.
And then obey, for an obedient heart is far better than any sacrifice you can offer to the Lord your God.
Father, the battle has worn me down today but I CHOOSE to kneel before Your throne of grace. Grace – Lord, I need Your grace. I need Your strength for I am weary. Thank You for promising that Your grace is sufficient and the joy of the Lord is my strength. I find my joy in You! Open my ears that I might hear Your voice and listen to Your words of instruction. Cleanse me of any unrighteousness, Father. Make me clean before You that I might bring you honor in all that I do. I love You, Lord.